Securing your projects: The human firewall
27th November 2023

Cyber threats are coming in harder and faster, seeing companies across the globe focusing their efforts on shoring up their systems and protecting themselves from attack. Companies from retail through to banking, have noted that their top projects for 2024 center around AI and automation, uplifting SIEM/SOC capability, and focusing on security simplification. However, despite these technical projects, one thing is clear – the most important project of them all is getting everyone on board. We dive into why your people are essential to building a strong cyber defence.

Why your people are your biggest strength… and biggest weakness

While it’s often left to IT teams, senior leaders and cyber professionals to combat security issues, this can no longer be the case – especially as the tech skills gap grows. Research reveals that 60% of global IT and cybersecurity leaders struggle to hire qualified cybersecurity candidates and 63% of global companies have unfilled cybersecurity positions.

The truth is, cybersecurity can’t all be left up to the tech experts – every project manager and team member needs to be responsible for the data security of their projects.

With 88% of company data breaches attributed to employee error, and social engineering attacks only on the rise – email-based phishing attacks have increased by 464% since the first half of 2022 – cybersecurity training for team members is a growing priority. With employees presenting a strong risk to a company’s overall security, think the recent MGM casino hack, companies are recognising now more than ever, that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Michael Megally, Avec’s General Manager, cautions that “cybersecurity can’t all be left up to your IT team. You can build the biggest cyber defence in the background, but your people are your biggest vulnerability. Training your people is the biggest defence you can have.”

Strengthening your weakest link

The emphasis on security is so strong that there’s increasing debate around whether those who fail phishing tests should be fired – 39% of company decision-makers in the UK let go of employees who breached company security policy during the pandemic. Resultantly, cyber training is on the up. Research has revealed that the global security awareness training market sits at approximately $5.6 billion in 2023 (up from $1 billion in 2014) and it’s predicted that this will exceed $10 billion annually by 2027. 97% of companies in a 2022 survey also noted that they had implemented security awareness measures, and Clive Mathieson, Partner at Cato & Clive Partners, a PR and communications consultancy that focuses on helping businesses navigate a cyber attack and prepare them for one, has observed an increased investment in cybersecurity testing, “The best-prepared organisations are conducting regular, full crisis scenario exercises. They are not cheap and can be a big investment in management time, but they are incredibly useful for identifying gaps and issues that will hurt you in a real event.”

It is vital that every person onboarded to a project team understands potential security threats, is equipped with the tools on how to deal with them and is aware of their own responsibilities when it comes down to security. With proper training and understanding, every team member has the power to act as the first line of defence against potential cyberattacks.

So, where do we come in?

We can support your teams with locking things down. At Avec, we offer specialised cybersecurity services, supporting leading-commercial companies through to government clients across Australia and New Zealand. Offering a full suite of strategic consulting, advisory, incident response, and managed security capabilities, we can help you strengthen your cybersecurity defences.

If you’re ready to ensure your projects are secure as possible get in touch with the Avec team today.

To discover more exclusive insights around the current cybersecurity market, check out Avec’s parent company Talent’s Cybersecurity Market Snapshot

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